How to groom a horse
Safe and secure
Before starting, it is important that your horse is tied securely using a head collar and leadrope. This is in the interest of your own safety, as any horse can become spooked. By tying them up, they are less likely to hurt you if they do jump around.
Pick out the feet
Start grooming, by picking out your horse’s hooves using the hoof pick. Stand with your back to their head, and your arm under the front of their leg. This way, if they kick out, the risk of being kicked or injured is reduced.
Once you have picked away the mud and grass, use the dandy brush to brush away any dust. Make sure you move away the pickings before letting your horse move around, otherwise they will just stand in it all again.
Brush the body
Using the dandy brush and rubber or plastic curry comb, brush the horse’s body, starting at the top of the withers and working your way down towards the tail. Brush the neck gently, but not brush the face, belly or legs as these brushes can be too harsh. Circular motions with the curry comb will help to remove loose hair and mud.
Brush the face, belly and legs
Using the softer body brush, gently groom your horse’s face, belly and legs. Some horses are head shy so you may need to hold the head collar by the chin to help keep their head steady.
Wash the face and dock
With warm water, use one sponge to gently clean the eyes and muzzle, and another sponge to clean the dock (under the tail). It is important that you clean the face first and with a separate sponge or you risk contaminating their eyes and causing an infection.
Mane and tail
Some people prefer to use one single comb, but it is advisable to use separate combs to brush the mane and tail, especially if you use a grooming conditioner on the tail as this can make the mane difficult to plait during the showing season.
Gently use the comb to pull away single strands of hair to remove any knots, seeds, twigs and mud.
If the tail is becoming too long, place your arm underneath the tail at the dock, and cut the tail so that it is level with the hocks. Once you remove your arm, the tail will drop so it will fall around the canon bone.